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Sunday, December 29, 2013
Calvin Johnson may need surgery

By Michael Rothstein
ESPN.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson probably will need offseason knee surgery, coach Jim Schwartz said Sunday.

Doctors are recommending that Johnson undergo the surgery in order to alleviate swelling and to clean out loose bodies in his knee, a source familiar with the injury told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson missed the Lions' season finale and was visibly limited by his knee injury at various times this year.

But Johnson and the Lions were to determine the best course of action following Sunday's season-ending loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the source told Schefter.

Schwartz indicated that if Johnson did have surgery, it would not be a major operation.

Johnson had initially injured his knee in Week 4 against Chicago and went on a limited practice regimen, missing the Week 5 game against Green Bay. He was severely limited in the Lions' home finale against the New York Giants last week and did not play at all Sunday against the Vikings.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford struggled Sunday without Johnson, completing 22 of 33 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown in Detroit's 14-13 loss.

"It was difficult," Schwartz said. "It's not just Calvin that wasn't out there, obviously, it was (Brandon) Pettigrew that wasn't out there. We were mixing and matching a lot of different personnel, putting offensive linemen out there trying to take some of our tight end snaps and wide receivers playing a lot of different positions."

Johnson, 28, is two years into an eight-year, $132 million contract -- a deal that made him the highest-paid player in the league.

Johnson finished the season with 84 catches for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns, his third straight season with over 1,000 yards receiving. He did, however, have a career-high nine drops, including two in a loss to Baltimore on "Monday Night Football" that was part of the Lions' collapse from 6-3 to 7-9.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter contributed to this report.